The goal of the American Animal Hospital Association's (AAHA) Nutritional Assessment Guidelines for Dogs and Cats is to help veterinary health care teams incorporate assessment and recommendations into regular animal care. Here’s the framework for starting a nutrition protocol at your clinic:
The two-part nutritional assessment process is important to evaluate the overall health and dietary needs of each patient:
SCREENING EVALUATION is performed on every animal and integrated seamlessly as a part of every patient exam. This evaluation includes assessing current nutrition and amount, activity level and age.
EXTENDED EVALUATION is performed when one or more nutrition-related risk factors are found or suspected based on the screening evaluation. Some nutrition-related risk factors include:
Poor skin or coat
Receiving medications and/or dietary supplements
Even if they don't ask, your clients expect a nutrition recommendation. After you have performed a nutritional assessment, make a specific dietary recommendation for every pet, every time.
Peek into the practices of other clinics to see how your peers assess and recommend.